Saturday, November 10, 2007

The ‘Triple-Triple’ Between the Wars Through 1945

Not surprisingly, Babe Ruth was the man to inaugurate the 100/100/100 club in 1919, he would also be the only one do accomplish the feat until Lou Gehrig joined him in the year he notched his sixth of what would be ultimately a record 12 seasons of 100+ runs, RBI and walks. Gehrig would finish one behind the Bambino in that category yet the “Iron Horse” would have two streaks, one of five and one of six straight ‘triple-triple’ years. Among future generations, only Barry Bonds would reach double digits in such seasons.

Of note, many of the game’s greats never enjoyed years where they reached triple figures in those categories: Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Rogers Hornsby, Honus Wagner, and Frank Robinson among them. Even some current greats like Ken Griffey Jr. Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, and Vladmir Guerrero are still looking for their debut in the ‘triple-triple’ club.

One thing that stood out among these is that Dolph Camilli pulled it off three times and missed a fourth by eight runs in a fairly short career (10 seasons of 100 or more games). I felt confident there would be some dead ball era players who pulled it off; Cobb came closest in 1915 with a 144 runs/99 RBI/118 BB season. Another mild surprise was the appearance of old Brownie Harlond Clift (career OPS+ of 116) in 1938. He almost did it twice; falling just two walks shy of the ‘triple-triple’ the year before.

Here are the players with multiple 100/100/100 seasons from 1919-1945 …

Babe Ruth (12 times, seven in a row 1926-1932)
Lou Gehrig (11 times, four year streak: 1929-32; five in a row: 1934-38)
Jimmy Foxx (7 times, three straight from 1934-36)
Mel Ott (five times)
Ted Williams (three times, eight overall)
Dolph Camilli (three times)
Hank Greenberg (twice)
Charlie Keller (twice)

…and the breakdown by year:

1945: None
1944: None
1943: None
1942: Ted Williams, Charlie Keller
1941: Ted Williams, Charlie Keller
1940: Jimmie Foxx
1939: Ted Williams, Dolph Camilli, George Selkirk
1938: Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Mel Ott, Harlond Clift, Dolph Camilli, Charlie Gehringer
1937: Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg
1936: Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Dolph Camilli
1935: Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx
1934: Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx
1933: None
1932: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane
1931: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig
1930: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Hack Wilson,
1929: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx
1928: Babe Ruth
1927: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig
1926: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig
1925: None
1924: Babe Ruth
1923: Babe Ruth
1922: None
1921: Babe Ruth
1920: Babe Ruth
1919: Babe Ruth

... George Selkirk, Harlond Clift, Charlie Gehringer, Mickey Cochrane and Hack Wilson once each.

Best Regards


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